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Chapter Seven. Cost Allocation: Departments, Joint Products, and By-Products. Learning Objectives. Identify the strategic role of cost allocation Explain the ethical issues of cost allocation Use three methods for allocating service department costs to production departments
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Chapter Seven Cost Allocation: Departments, Joint Products, and By-Products
Learning Objectives • Identify the strategic role of cost allocation • Explain the ethical issues of cost allocation • Use three methods for allocating service department costs to production departments • Explain problems in implementing each of the three departmental cost allocation methods
Learning Objectives (continued) • Explain the use of cost allocation in service firms • Use the three methods for allocating joint product costs • Understand alternative methods to account for by-products associated with a joint production process
The Strategic Role of Cost Allocation • Determine accurate departmental and product costs as a basis for evaluating the cost efficiency of departments and the profitability of different products • Motivate managers to exert a high level of effort to achieve the goals of top management • Provide the right incentive for managers to make decisions that are consistent with the goals of top management
The Strategic Role of Cost Allocation (continued) • Fairly determine the rewards earned by managers for their effort and skill and for the effectiveness of their decision-making • The most objective basis for cost allocation exists when a cause-and-effect relationship can be determined, such as the relationship between machine breakdowns and maintenance costs • Other alternatives exist in the absence of cause-and-effect relationships, such as ability-to-bear and benefit received
Ethical Issues in Cost Allocation • An ethical issue arises when costs are allocated to products or services that are produced for both a competitive market and a public or governmental entity • The latter often purchases on a cost-plus basis creating an incentive to shift costs from the competitive products to cost-plus-based products and contracts • An equity or fair-share issue arises when a governmental unit reimburses the costs of a private institution or when it provides a service to the public for a fee–no single measure of equity exists
Ethical Issues in Cost Allocation (continued) • A third ethical issue is the effect of the chosen allocation method on the costs of the products sold to or from foreign subsidiaries • By increasing the costs of products purchased in high-tax countries or in countries where the firm does not have favorable tax treatment, the firm can reduce its overall tax liability • International tax authorities watch the cost-allocation methods of multinational firms very closely for this reason
Overhead Allocations: Three General Approaches Three general approaches for allocating overhead costs to products: • The volume-based approach allocates overhead from a single cost pool • The departmental approach allocates overhead to production departments, and then from production departments to products • The activity-based approach allocates overhead to production activities (activity cost pools), and then from production activities to products
The Departmental Approach The departmental approach classifies manufacturing departments into production and service departments This approach involves three phases: • Trace all direct overhead costs and allocate common overhead costs to both the various production and service departments • Allocate the service department costs to the production departments • Allocate production department costs to products
Departmental Approach Example Beary Company manufactures two products and has two production departments (P-1 and P-2) and two service departments (S-1 and S-2). Beary uses labor-hours (DLH) to allocate indirect labor costs and machine-hours (MH) to allocate indirect materials costs. Not Traceable
Departmental Approach: Phase 2 Phase 2, allocation of service department costs: whether, and to what extent, reciprocal cost flows are recognized? Three methods are used to allocate service department costs: • The direct method • The step method • The reciprocal method
Phase 2: Step Method =$8250+$2340
Key Implementation Issues • Choosing the most accurate method is key • Wide variations can occur in the product allocation amounts • Determining an appropriate allocation base and a percentage amount for service provided by the service departments is often difficult • Often firms have difficulty distinguishing fixed and variable costs • Ideally, firms would use dual allocation, which separates variable and fixed costs and traces the variable costs directly to the departments that caused the cost
Key Implementation Issues (continued) • Using budgeted vs. actual amounts? • Budgeted (predetermined) amounts can be more difficult to determine but are more motivating for the allocation of fixed costs • Using budgeted amounts makes the allocation of fixed costs more predictable and less dependent upon the usage of other departments • Allocated costs can exceed external purchase cost • Occasionally the cost a department is allocated exceeds the cost of purchasing that service from an outside supplier
Joint Product Costing • Some manufacturing plants yield more than one product from a common resource input; this is called a joint production process • Joint products are products from a joint production process that have relatively substantial sales values • Products whose total sales values are minor in comparison to the sales value of the joint products are classified as by-products
Joint Product Costing (continued) • Joint products and by-products start their manufacturing life as part of the same raw material, so up until a certain point, no distinction can be made between the products • By-products differ from joint products in that the sales value of the by-product is somewhat lower than that of the joint products • The point in a joint production process at which individual products can be identified for the first time is called the split-off point • Joint costs include all manufacturing costs incurred prior to the split-off point
Joint Product Costing (continued) • Costs incurred after the split-off point are called additional processing costs or separable costs • Three methods are commonly used to allocate joint product costs • Relative physical units (measures) produced • Relative sales values of the products • Relative net realizable values (NRV) of the products
Cost Allocation Based on Relative Physical Units • The physical units method uses a physical measure such as pounds, gallons, or yards or units or volume to allocate the joint costs to joint products • The greater the output (however measured), the greater the share of joint costs allocated to the product • This method is also called the average cost method when units of output are used in the costing procedure
The Physical Units Method: Example Assume Johnson Seafood produces tuna filets and canned tuna for distribution to restaurants and supermarkets:
Relative Sales Values at Split-off Method • The sales value at split-off method allocates joint costs to joint products on the basis of their relative sales values at the split-off point • This method can only be used when joint products can be sold at the split-off point
Sales Value at Split-off Point: Example Using the same example, the sales value at split-off point method produces the following results:
The Net Realizable Value (NRV) Method • The NRV method can be used when joint products cannot be sold at split-off • The net realizable value(NRV) of a product is the product’s estimated sales value at the split-off point • NRV is determined by subtracting additional processing and selling costs beyond the split-off point from the estimated ultimate sales value of the product
The Net Realizable Value Method: Example Assume Johnson Seafood also produces cat food from the raw, unprocessed tuna
By-Product Costing Four Methods: Two based on assets, two based on revenues: • Asset Recognition Methods: • Net Realizable Value (NRV) Method • Other Income at Production Point Method • Revenue Methods: • Other Income at Selling Point Method • Manufacturing Cost Reduction at Selling Point Method • The main difference between these methods is the former grouping records by-product produced as inventory at NRV, while the latter grouping recognizes by-product revenue in the period sold
Chapter Summary • Cost allocation is strategically important in determining accurate departmental and product costs, for evaluating the cost efficiency of departments, and for assessing the profitability of different products • Ethical issues arise when costs are allocated to products or services • What method is being used to allocate the costs? • Is the market competitive or on a cost-plus basis? • Is the allocation method equitable?
Chapter Summary (continued) • There are three methods of overhead allocation: • The volume-based approach allocates overhead costs from a single cost pool, directly to products and services • The departmental approach allocates overhead to production departments, and then from production departments to products • The activity-based approach allocates overhead to production activities, and then from production activities to products
Chapter Summary (continued) • This chapter focused on the departmental approach, which has three phases: • Assign total overhead costs to production and service departments by tracing direct overhead costs to production and service departments and by allocating common (joint) overhead costs to service and production departments • Allocate service department costs to production departments (using either the direct, step, or reciprocal method) • Allocate overhead costs from production department costs to products, customers, jobs, etc.
Chapter Summary (continued) • Methods Used for Departmental Cost Allocation • Direct Method (ignores reciprocal service between service departments • Step Method (assigns reciprocal service costs in steps) • Reciprocal Method (accounts for all reciprocal service between service departments)
Chapter Summary (continued) • Joint production processes - two different types of output: • Joint products • By-products • Two types of costs associated with a joint production process: • Joint costs • Separable processing costs • Three methods commonly used to allocate joint costs: • Relative physical units • Relative sales values at the split-off point • Relative NRVs (estimated sales values at the split-off)
Chapter Summary (continued) • There are four by-product costing alternatives: • Asset Recognition Methods (i.e., by-product benefits recognized in period of production): • Net Realizable Value (NRV) Method • Disclosure of By-Product Benefits as “Other Income” • Revenue Methods (i.e., by-product benefits recognized in period of sale): • Disclosure of By-Product Benefits as “Other Income” • Disclosure of By-Product Benefits as a Reduction in • Manufacturing Costs Associated with Joint Products